Generally, the primary function of an audit manager is to supervise the activities of an audit department. This department ensures that financial reports comply with policies, laws and regulations. The manager is responsible to plan various tasks from a managerial level and to delegate jobs to subordinates where necessary. Commonly, the duties he or she has include performing audits according to the industry's accepted auditing practices, hiring and training staff, and ensuring auditing procedures meet legal requirements.
There are organizations staffed with their own internal auditing teams. In such organizations, an audit manager plans and directs the auditing tasks. When an audit is conducted, it is the manager's duty to thoroughly examine financial records and to ensure they are accurate. Due to major financial frauds and accounting dishonesty in the past, an audit manager is required to ensure his or her team implements tight controls over financial reports in order to maintain a high level of integrity.
In addition to ensuring compliance with the law, policies and regulations, the audit manager may be required to conduct investigations when there are allegations of fraud. The issue of fraud is of grave consequences, and the manager must be thorough in his or her inspection. When it is uncovered, it is the manager's duty to report the matter to the appropriate authorities.
Specialization is also an aspect of auditing. For example, a manager may pursue expertise in a domain, such as information technology. A manager with an expertise in this field, for instance, will generally supervise and control data management. In doing so, he ensures sensitive data is not lost or manipulated, among other matters.
Some organizations do not have internal auditors and mainly rely on firms that specialize in this domain. When an organization hires a firm that provides auditing services, there will be an audit manger to oversee the process. The manager will peruse financial statements to make sure there are no irregularities. Moreover, he or she will analyze the controls that the organization has in place, and thus gauge their efficiency and effectiveness.
The audit manager may also work for the government. In this role, the manager may be responsible for overseeing various activities. These include audits of private individuals and corporations, especially when there are suspicions of tax evasion, money laundering, or any other criminal activities.
Most often, audit manager jobs require that a candidate has a degree in either internal auditing or accounting, preferably at a postgraduate level. Additionally, he or she may be required to have one of several industry certifications. These include designations like the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), the Certified Internal Systems Auditor (CISA) and the Certification in Control Self-Assessment (CCSA).